CONNIE LAWYER v. SUSAN CHAPMAN, ASSESSOR, TANEY COUNTY, MISSOURI

June 3rd, 2022

STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI

CONNIE LAWYER, )
Complainant(s), ) Appeal No. 21-89535
v. ) Parcel/locator No:  18-6.0-23.001-002-007.015
SUSAN CHAPMAN, ASSESSOR, )
TANEY COUNTY, MISSOURI, )
Respondent. )

DECISION AND ORDER

Connie M. Lawyer (Complainant) appeals the assessment made by Susan Chapman, Assessor, Taney County, Missouri, (Respondent) determining the true value in money (TVM) of the subject property as of January 1, 2021, was $59,469 with an assessed value (AV) of $19,030, classified as commercial property. Complainant did not produce substantial and persuasive evidence to support the asserted claims of overvaluation and misclassification. The assessment of Respondent is affirmed.[1]

Facts

The evidentiary hearing was scheduled for May 31, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Respondent timely appeared at the evidentiary hearing in person and through counsel Travis Elliott. Complainant did not appear. Complainant did not seek a continuance or otherwise communicate any intent to proceed with the appeal.

Complainant Did Not Prove Overvaluation

The taxpayer bears the burden of proof and must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was overvalued. Westwood P’ship v. Gogarty, 103 S.W.3d 152, 161 (Mo. App. E.D. 2003). Complainant did not appear at the evidentiary hearing and produced no evidence admitted into the record to support the overvaluation and misclassification claims. Complainant’s failure to appear and to present any evidence necessarily means Complainant fails to meet Complainant’s burden of proof. [2]

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

The assessment made by Respondent is affirmed.  The TVM of the subject property as of January 1, 2021, is $59,469 with an AV of $19,030, classified as commercial property.

Application for Review

A party may file with the STC an application for review of this decision within 30 days of the mailing date set forth in the certificate of service for this decision. The application “shall contain specific detailed grounds upon which it is claimed the decision is erroneous.”  Section 138.432.  The application must be in writing, and may be mailed to the State Tax Commission, P.O. Box 146, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0146, or emailed to Legal@stc.mo.gov.  A copy of the application must be sent to each person listed below in the certificate of service.

Failure to state specific facts or law upon which the application for review is based will result in summary denial. Section 138.432.

Disputed Taxes

The Collector of Taney County, as well as the collectors of all affected political subdivisions therein, shall continue to hold the disputed taxes pending the possible filing of an application for review, unless said taxes have been disbursed pursuant to a court order under the provisions of section 139.031.

SO ORDERED June 3, 2022.

STATE TAX COMMISSION OF MISSOURI

Amy S. Westermann

Chief Counsel

Certificate of Service

I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing has been electronically mailed and/or sent by U.S. Mail on June 3, 2022, to:

Complainant(s) and/or Counsel for Complainant(s), the County Assessor and/or Counsel for Respondent and County Collector.

Amy S. Westermann

Chief Counsel

[1]Complainant timely filed a complaint for review of assessment directly with the State Tax Commission after receiving the first notice of a change in assessment through a tax bill dated December 22, 2021.  The deadline for appealing to the local BOE was the second Monday in July, which was July 12, 2021.  Under 12 CSR 30-3.010(1)B.1, a property owner may appeal directly to the STC (a) where the assessor fails to notify the current owner of the property of an initial assessment or an increase in assessment from the previous year, prior to 30 days before the deadline for filing an appeal to the board of equalization, including instances in which real property was transferred and the prior owner was notified, or (b) where a new owner purchased real property less than 30 days before the deadline for filing an appeal to the BOE or later in the tax year, regardless if the assessment is an initial assessment, an increase or decrease in assessment, or an assessment established in the prior year.  Appeals under either of these provisions must be filed within 30 days after a county official mailed a tax statement or otherwise first communicated the assessment or the amount of taxes to the owner or on or before December 31 of the tax year in question, whichever is later.  Proof of late notice, the date of purchase, and/or notice sent to the prior owner shall be attached to, or set forth in, the complaint. The State Tax Commission (STC) has authority to hear and decide Complainant’s appeal.  Mo. Const. art. X, Section 14; section 138.430.1, RSMo 2000.  All statutory citations are to RSMo 2000, as amended.

[2] For over 150 years, Missouri law has recognized the self-evident proposition that “if there be no evidence sufficient in law to make a prima facie case on this issue, plaintiff cannot be entitled to recover.” Callahan v. Warne, 40 Mo. 131, 135 (Mo. 1867).